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EatsFatsVancouverSince April 22, 2007322 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (2.8)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (2.8)
  • Value2.5 (2.7)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.7)

Reviews

Displaying 41 - 60 of 322 Reviews Found
BiBo, The1835 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Yeah, it's good. Especially the pizza
Submitted Friday, September 16, 2011 - 10:30pm [Dine in]

Stopped by here one early weekend afternoon. It was pretty empty.
Reasonably nice setup and suits the neighbourhood and the style it's trying to achieve.

The server was pretty okay. I mean, we were served and she was kind of friendly, but come on, a bit more enthusiasm please! Especially for a place like this.

Nevertheless, food came in reasonable time, with a pizza and a pasta dish. Yes, while we make a good pasta at home, this was a properly done one. Very happy with that.
The pizza was absolutely fantastic, I think it is trying to be Neapolitan style and it really pulls it off. The crust is just the right texture, on the thin side as it should be. The biggest thing is the flavour. Yes, when you have a simple pizza like a margherita, you better get it right as there aren't a lot of ingredients to hide behind. The crust is probably one of the most flavourful crusts in town. The only other contender is Sciue, who make a much tougher style of pizza crust which is not Neapolitan. The tomatoes? Yeah, they hit it right. We know good tomatoes when we taste it, we've certainly cooked with our share of the best local and cans from Italy. It was good enough to be one of those eye-opening dishes that lets you know what something could be if done right. It's a fork 'n knifer or a really messy time for hands, as it should be for this style of pizza.

Yes, highly recommended. You should try it just once when their pizza master is in just to see what it could be. I'd stop by again to eat, for sure. But please, warm up the service a bit. It doesn't have to be formal and cold to be good...

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Nicli Antica Pizzeria62 East Cordova, Vancouver
All style, no substance
Submitted Friday, September 16, 2011 - 10:19pm [Dine in]

We caught it on a weekday early on, so luckily, no wait. It did get quite a bit busier soon after. It's a very clean, stylish place. Not in-line with the rest of the neighbourhood.

Ordered a margherita (with the buffalo mozzarella) and a bianca pizza and they got right to work on it. I really can't complain about the service since there were only 3 people in the restaurant at the time! The pizza didn't take too long to come. I saw them start the crust from dough right in the kitchen/prep area. It wasn't pre-done.

I heard someone else say tough crust? Yes, the crust is quite tough. Hurt our hands trying to cut through it with the knife. It was TOUGH. On the bright side, it wasn't too tough to chew, it was okay. (Certainly Sciue has tougher crust, but that is Roman style, and their crust is much tastier).

The pizza was just okay given what we were expecting from this level of pizza joint. Come on, yes, it is better than the 99cent pizza joints and it beats Domino's or Pizza Hut hands down. But it's no where near the best in town. (BTW, Neapolitan pizza is soggy and full of stuff in the middle).
Okay, the margherita, the tomato used was not the best. It's okay, but it may have been just very good standard supermarket stuff. It's not any local heirloom tomatoes that I've ever tasted or any good canned tomatoes from Italy. It lacks flavour. The crust? Also lacks flavour. So for a pizza with only 4 major ingredients, this is not going so well. They could've hidden it with more basil and more mozarella, but no, they skimped on that.
The bianca had much stronger flavour, but of course the crust suffered from the same weakness. They also skimped out on the parsley. Honestly, it's Italian flat-leaf parsley, throw a few more on for how much you're charging!

The 2 pizzas ran us $16-17 each. For that price, no. Funny, on their website, they proudly advertise that a certain food writer from the Globe & Mail proclaims "At last, Vancouver has a restaurant that serves real Neapolitan pizza!". Well, I'm sorry, if that quote is true, that writer has absolutely no credibility. (This isn't the first time this writer has stumbled, so this is just another nail in the coffin).

If you want better Neapolitan style pizza, much better pizza, go to BiBo. Their guy is going to the pizza competition in Italy and, well, the difference in quality shows.

Would I return? No. Would I recommend? No. If it's cheap pizza you want, this is not the place to get it. If it's the best Neapolitan pizza in town, short of going to Italy, well this is not it either. If you're in the area and hankering for a bite? There's a lot cheaper options in the area. I'm not saying this is crap food, it's pretty good, but sorry, if you're going to play with the big boys, you better bring your "A" game, and they did not. If they want to serve the pizza at half the price and not make any claims about authenticity, then I'd be happy with it.

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Five Guys Burgers & Fries728 Main Street, #510, West Vancouver
It's okay. Know what you're getting into.
Submitted Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 11:28pm [Dine in]

Probably this place is a bit of a victim of over-hype. Certainly by the "reviews" plastered around the place, you'd think it was the ultimate, premium burger joint. (I guess maybe in some parts of the US, this _does_ pass as fine dining, as some of the articles would seem to indicate).

The reality is that it is simply a fast-ish food burger joint. Think of it that way and you will feel better. That's the way the restaurant is dressed up anyways. Quite clean though, no complaints about that.

The burgers are really quite decent. Not super juicy and I'm not a big fan of the "doughy" style bun though. It was fresh tasting and not too salty and gooped up with mystery sauce. The "small" burger is your typical burger size, if I recall, that runs around $4 or so. (They are much larger than In 'n Out). The "regular" is actually a huge double patty stacker.
By the way, you get 4 choices, regular, cheese, bacon or bacon with cheese (if I recall). Keepin' it simple. (Okay, if you really insist, they do have hot dogs & grilled cheese sandwich too). You get any/all toppings at no extra charge, so we opted for the usual "all" on one. This made the burger an incredibly thick mess to handle. (This is not necessarily a bad thing :-)
The fries are extra, but even the regular size is a very generous portion (I guess it should be for the price) and you can taste it is just from natural potatoes cut up. But good thing the drinks are free refills.
Oh, and in case you're still hungry, free peanuts, self-serve. I guess all you could eat. Don't knock it, I find these quite good, these are the large, roasted in the shell type.

Reasonably happy with what we got. if I were in the area, yeah, I'd stop by. It's a bit pricier than the competition, I think, but maybe worth it. I don't think it's worth a trip though, they're not _that_ good. I think Vera's is at least as good if not better. If I truly wanted a premium burger, I might head over to Romer's if I were feeling rich.

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Hog Shack3900 Bayview Street, #160, Richmond
Maybe this is the best we could get...
Submitted Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 9:00pm [Dine in]

Have I had real, smoked barbecue? Yes. Was it good? Yes. Was it in Vancouver? Sadly, probably no. The last place might have been Boonie`s, but I suspect ever since he lost the curling rink, it is not. And anyways, it`s gone now.

Hog Shack is promising, but if my past experience is anything to go by, it`s way too fancy to be authentic. Maybe that`s a plus for some people. It at least has a rather decent selection that sounds good.
We went in, got served immediately. The service was good, not great, but certainly acceptable. A few of us ordered the huge platter sampler with a bit of everything.
Chicken? Ok, a bit dry, but okay. Barely passable.
Beef ribs? Pretty good, not everyone`s favourite though.
Brisket? Also pretty good, most people really liked this.
Pork ribs? Another favourite here, with falling-off-the-bone meats. Corn bread was decent, people generally liked the beans and slaw as well.

Bottom line for the party seemed to be that it was good tasting food with pretty generous portions for the price. For what it`s worth, some of the carnivores rated this way better than Memphis Blues.

I tend to agree, it was pretty decent eats with not much else like it in town. However, the big however, I have my doubts it was smoked in a real good smoker. Taste & texture not the same. That takes time and you could probably smell it a mile away. Looking for good eats? Sure, come on in. Looking for great BBQ? Hmmm.....
That`s my hesistant recommendation, the company seemed generally satisfied & happy with the food, if not the authenticity.

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Closed
Zako's Deli500 W Broadway, #102, Vancouver
Nothing special, manned by slackers...
Submitted Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 8:47pm [Dine in]

Been waiting forever to get a chance to try it. Doesn't look like much, slightly run down joint, but that's okay. I suppose that is what it is.

We went in, there's a guy yapping on the phone, didn't pay attention to us. Really? Don't care about the only potential customers since your place is absolutely empty? We finally waved him over after we made our decision. Did he stop? No, he took our order and kept on yapping on the phone. Seemed to take quite a while for just a sandwich and poutine.
While we were eating, he stepped out and left us alone. Another customer came in, rang the bell and finally gave up and walked out. Turned out dude was just squatting outside the restaurant, still yapping away on the phone. Eventually he came back in. Good thing, cause more customers came in. But did he stop? No, kept right on at it. We had to "interrupt" his conversation just to pay.
For that alone, we would never, ever go back. Not for someone who doesn't give a damn about the customers nor the food.

Well, about the food. The sandwich was just a sandwich. Small, Med. Large just seems to vary in the amount of meat piled between the bread. Which was pre-sliced, ordinary bread. Nothing special. The meat itself was ... ok. For the price, it blows chunks. If you want a better sandwich and more choices, feel free to head to Kaplan`s or Siegel`s. Way better.
The poutine was advertised as fresh cut potatoes with local cheese curds. I`ll give the potatoes the benefit of the doubt, but the kurds were not kurds. Just chunked up mozzarella or similar type cheese. Wrong taste, wrong texture, no squeak. If it`s poutine you want, you`d do better heading off to La Belle Patate. (Which, BTW, would probably offer better steamie plate too).

Don`t waste your time here, not only is the service crap, there is nothing special about the food, even ignoring that it`s downright misleading. There`s basically 3 things on the menu, the sandwich, poutine and steamie platter. Maybe some people have had a significantly better experience here. If that`s the case, the owner should start by firing that guy who was on duty, who actually LOST a customer who walked in cause he couldn`t get service in an empty restaurant.

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Save on Meats43 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
That really sucked. They missed all marks completely.
Submitted Saturday, August 6, 2011 - 8:50pm [Dine in]

We went with high hopes for this place, but we were exceedingly let down. It's nice they try to clean up the neighbourhood and provide something for the residents. The place is generally clean, very open and well, looks like a diner. No surprise there.

The wait staff was pretty friendly and helpful, wow, they even have a kids menu. Very accommodating, That was certainly one thing I can't complain about. They came about to help us quite quickly, but the kitchen might have been a bit on the slow side for a diner

Here's the problem though: Is this diner for the long-time residents? If so, it's priced well out of their range. It was $6 for the basic burger, about the cheapest dish that can be had. It only comes with 1 side (slaw, salad or fries). it was not big. Really? I could get a burger for that anywhere. The other mains come in higher, like around the $8-9 range, though very few top $10 that I could recall. You may not think it's much, but that's rich for these residents (or it ought to be!)
So is this diner for the new, "hip" residents? If so, well, the food sucked. The burger patty was okay. The bun tasted like it was a couple of days old. I would've been happier with a generic Safeway burger bun. The fries were nothing to write home about. At least the slaw was good. The pork sandwich on apple fritter was basically a super-tough, dried out pork chop in between a donut. Not that hot. A pot pie? Very, very small and not amazing. The roast chicken? Oh my gosh, that was super-dry. You would've done better walking up to Nester's market to pick up some munchies.

Would I return? I highly doubt it. This is the rare one of those places where the food quality (I don't mean it is rotten, but just poorly cooked) doesn't even meet the minimum standard where I think "Oh, if it were a bit cheaper, I would be happy". Nuh oh. Not even close. I'd stay away. You'd do better getting some gnosh over at T&T or Nester's. A pointless waste of my tummy space and a pointless addition to the neighbourhood.
Unless the new starving artists that are moving in don't know how to manage their finances, or cook and have no standards whatsoever.

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Suika1626 West Broadway, Vancouver
Good stuff, but no longer unique
Submitted Saturday, August 6, 2011 - 3:26pm [Dine in]

Had it opened a few years ago, this might have been a killer place. As it is, it becomes "just another izakaya". That's not to say it is bad. it is in fact quite good. The ambience is a perfect fit. The wait staff are generally very patient and attentive. Service is quick, very quick. No complaint

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Closed
Li Garden5822 Victoria Dr, Vancouver
Under rated hit!
Submitted Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 9:43pm [Dine in]

Look, this would not have been my first choice, but it wasn't my choice. And prior to coming, we were given "warning". We stepped in on a weeknight and it was empty. We were the only table. (Which soon expanded to maybe 4 tables at most).

Thankfully, upon entering the door, it didn't look all that bad. It's on par or maybe even slightly better kept than most Chinese places of this level (which doesn't necessarily say a lot...). Since there weren't a lot of people, obviously we had not much to complain about with regards to service. To their credit, they are reasonably friendly & helpful

This was a celebration of sorts, so we ordered a lot of stuff. The table was literally overflowing with dishes, which was great, because we were able to get a wide sampling of dishes. Much to my surprise, every dish was really good! From the soup starter right through to the crispy chicken and everything in between. Let's clarify the "4 star" rating first, I'm marking this as a mid-level Chinese restaurant, that doesn't mean it's on the same level as a 4-star $100/person place.
The dishes were sort of "home-style" in some ways, I mean presentation wasn't absolutely tops, but not too shabby. But I'm mostly concerned with the taste. None of the dishes came off too greasy or too salty. Even though we were thoroughly stuffed, I never felt bloated and did not have any bad after-effects of the dinner. To put the quality of the food in perspective, I think I would rather eat here than Sun Sui Wah, and I don't think I would be missing much if I skipped Red Star and came here. I would be just as satisfied.
Definitely recommended. No, it's probably not a place if you need to impress your boss or a date (wait, if your date rejects you because of this restaurant, he/she is not a keeper anyways), but for what it is, it's a great eatery if you're on the hunt for good quality, inexpensive Chinese eats.

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Bing Sheng Restaurant1800 Renfrew Street, Vancouver
Things have certainly improved
Submitted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 12:04am [Dine in]

A long time ago, I blasted the place for using sub-par ingredients and ruining what was essentially a good concept. Well, we had the chance to go back and see if they've redeemed themselves.

First off, the place has held up reasonably well. It still looks pretty decent, though there are the "usual bits" that you expect to see at most Chinese restaurant. Okay, no surprise then.
Service was pretty good, slightly more friendly and attentive than most places at this level, so that was a pretty good sign.

Now, let's get to the food.... fine dining? No. But decent ingredients this time around? Yeah. Execution was not bad and they are still having fairly unique dishes from everyone else. Not just different, but different good. Consider yourselves redeemed! Yup, they've done good enough that it warrants a return trip for us now.

It's a Chinese restaurant, but not full of your usual dishes, quite a lot of unique things going on. The food quality & execution are now more than acceptable. Prices reasonable and topped off with a relatively clean restaurant and friendly staff. Tentatively recommended for now.

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Closed
Red Robin1001 West Broadway, #200, Vancouver
Old school .... crud
Submitted Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 4:00pm [Dine in]

Well, it wasn't our choice this time, else we'd never wander into here. It's hard to believe places like this are still alive.
Okay, so the service was relatively decent, no complaints there. The place, well, old-style diner (not 50's or 60's old but 80's I guess).

The food? Almost entirely burgers. A few sandwiches here and there and a couple of pasta dishes. It's like a time capsule from my youth. Unchanged for decades. The fried cod burger was half decent. The lamb burger would've been given a good run by a reasonably seasoned piece of cardboard. Everything was more or less waaaay too salty and far out of line with what most other places in town offer now. We also noticed the "kids" menu offered bottomless soft drinks. Really? Seriously?

Come on, if I wanted a good burger, I would head to Vera's or any of the other burger joints and pay 75% of the cost. If I wanted a good mix, I'd do better by stopping by White Spot, geeze or even BP. Which leads me to wonder ... who still eats here? Don't waste your tummy space.

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Closed
Re-Up BBQ700 Hornby St, Vancouver
You can stuff my belly with this any day
Submitted Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 3:04pm [Dine in]

It's one of Vancouver's latest street food vendors. They have a good, decent truck, looks like they mean business. The two dudes manning it inside are friendly, efficient and knowledgeable (yup, go ahead, ask 'em where they get their pork if you have time to chat).

The menu seems to feature pulled pork sandwich. And pulled pork sandwich. And that's about it. (Though strangely, when we were there, you could actually put in an order for fresh local, non-medicated turkey and their own bacon. YEAH! Bacon!!).

$6.75 all in for the sandwich, if I remember correctly. Seem a bit pricey? No, just wait till you get the sandwich. It's a heavy monster that is loaded to the gills with pulled pork and minor bits of other fixings. I doubt many will go away hungry. We shared one amongst 2 and it was enough to keep us rolling along for a while.
Buns were from Calabria, pork is local and all was tasty. Delicious. My only complaint is that perhaps the sauce used was a bit too spicy and masked some of the goodness of the pork.

Look, this would make a damn fine lunch if I were a downtown office worker and I think it would be a better deal than plopping $6.75 at Subway. Recommended stop over here (though honestly, how many times could you return for 1 menu item?). Be quick though, they work until sold out and that's it. When we went, I think they had enough for a few more sandwiches and that's it, and we had barely passed lunchtime.

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Original Tandoori Kitchen7215 Main Street, Vancouver
Could be one of the best Indian eateries in town
Submitted Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 12:41am [Dine in]

This caught our eye when we drove by because the exterior has been significantly updated (or is it just new?). The interior matched the outside, it is completely re-done and is perhaps the nicest Indian restaurant in town. We peeked into the kitchen and it is just as new and clean.

We ended up there on a weekday lunch, so it was very quiet, we were the first guests. The hostess was reasonably friendly and seated us quickly. The rest of the time, the service was not rapid. If we were not in a hurry, it wouldn't be an issue though. She did come by regularly to attend to our needs most of the time.

The menu was quite vast, but we picked a mixed combo set for a sampler, and some special naan's and pakora. Please wait ... because they are making everything fresh. The vegetable pakora's were a hit. Fresh, tasty, crispy but not too greasy. The big platter we ordered had a mix of things, daal, butter chicken, paneer and other things. We specifically requested mild and we were not disappointed. Highly recommended, because this allowed us to taste the spice and flavours from each dish. It was perfectly done, each dish had unique flavours and textures and none of it was greasy or oily. The freshly baked naan? OOoooh, quite tasty, soft, warm and ... almost perfect. One of the best in my memory.

Let me say, we were exceedingly happy with the food. We've had a string of hits at Indian restaurants recently and this was no exception, perhaps topping the rest. The flavours were so fresh, each dish was unique and we did not go away feeling loaded from grease or oil. It is absolutely fabulous that so many Indian restaurants in town have really stepped it up a notch. This place in particular, so many dishes to choose from and it was so good, I would definitely like to be back.
Highly recommended for some northern Indian cuisine, well worth the trip.

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Closed
Elliz Coffee House943 W Broadway, #160, Vancouver
A coffee house plus
Submitted Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 12:11am [Dine in]

So you need a bit of a snack? A coffee or tea? Why not try this place? It's pretty much a standard coffee house, much like the omnipresent Starbuck's, but unlike those guys, you can get a pretty decent meal here, including fresh made soups.

We stopped by to sample their soups and daily meal specials and breakfast. The owner/chef is exceedingly friendly and helpful. Just perfect for a neighbourhood joint. The breakfast was pretty loaded, with pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. It was pretty decent, even the sausage wasn't too fatty like other places. We also hit lunch with some fish 'n chips and a soup. The fish 'n chips were kind of a miss (though presentation was nice), but for the price, I'll give it a passing grade, it came in under $6. The fish was fresh and good, but it just wasn't well fried.

The summary? A nice little neighbourhood cafe. It would be perfect to drop by for breakfast or a workday lunch. However, not worth the trip as there isn't anything outstanding or special.

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Hai Phong Vietnamese Restaurant1246 Kingsway, Vancouver
Good variety of Vietnamese goodies
Submitted Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 12:53am [Dine in]

Their web site claims they're the best that Vancouver has to offer for Vietnamese dining. Really? That's a pretty tall claim. We decided to put it to the test, to see how it measures up against the best we've had (not in Vancouver, somewhere where there's a lot more Vietnamese people...)

The menu certainly looked promising as they have a huge variety of dishes, not just pho. When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised to find the place is relatively open and clean. The service was good too, prompt and efficient, but not necessarily super friendly or chatty, but it wasn't unexpected.

Now to the food ... came out in a reasonable amount of time. And would you believe we went through two visits without any pho and different dishes each time. And it was all good. Flavours were good, not too salty and I don't think there was too much, if any, MSG. Everything tasted clean and fresh. If you order one of the many traditional non-pho dishes, they typically come with a lot of herbs and lettuce to wrap and eat. The only downside here was that though they are generous with the greens, there is a lack of variety when compared to some other places.
Is this the best that Vancouver has to offer? Hmmm... tough call, but now that we've been, it's not a ridiculous claim when you put together the variety, quality, service and general ambience/cleanliness of the restaurant.
We're still not done with this place, there are heaps of stuff on the menu that we haven't rolled around to so we will definitely be back. Highly recommended.

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Good Choice Restaurant6007 Fraser Street, Vancouver
Not a bad choice
Submitted Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 4:52pm [Dine in]

I'll be honest, I did not have high hopes for this place. Sounded like it would be just another greasy Chinese joint.
We got there, I was surprised by a couple of things. First the small size. Maybe enough room for 10 tables, and only 2 of them would seat more than about 5-6 people. Relatively speaking, certainly a smaller place. And secondly, it was reasonably clean and well organized. Now that is a surprise for a Chinese restaurant like this.

The waitresses were pretty typical, not too unfriendly, maybe a little bit like your aunty. Not any real complaint, but I'm marking them down for forgetting one order.

As for the food ... well, much better than I thought. There were a couple of "different" dishes I've not had elsewhere, but otherwise it seems almost "old school" menu. The quality wasn't so bad. I mean, some of the dishes were on the greasy side for my liking, but it didn't seem much more so than other dim sum places, so I won't mark that down for now.

Is it a destination? Dunno, jury is still out on that. But I wouldn't mind returning if I had to go eat dim sum again. It doesn't seem any worse than many other places, and it is a slight change of pace. If you're in the area, I'd recommend it if you have a dim sum craving, it seems a safe place to go and you could certainly do far worse.

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Pink Peppercorn Seafood House1485 Kingsway, Vancouver
Old school goodness
Submitted Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 11:37pm [Dine in]

If you're going to go here, it's probably because you miss the Cannery. It seems a bunch of former employees and the menu made it over. I've never been to the Cannery, so I don't know what I'm missing.
This place, well, it's best enjoyed in the dimly lit interior at dinner, because I suspect in bright daylight, this would look like a dive.

At least the waiter we had was thoroughly experienced and professional. In the old school manner. Which fit this place perfectly. The menu is also what I'd call "old school", perhaps the more generous would term it "classic". Some people prefer the old standbys, so this is definitely the place. No surprises, no excitement. It's reasonably big portions with the standard sides and heavy on the butter during cooking, no doubt.

But hey, to each their own. We had a bunch of stuff, including the "famous" salmon wellington. As far as being a salmon dish goes, it was "meh", the salmon a bit overdone and a bit overwhelmed by other flavours. As far as being a tasty dish, it was much better than expected, especially when paired with the port sauce. The halibut special was similarly competent, though I'd rate the cooking on the halibut much better, almost perfect. Too bad it was slightly overwhelmed with too many herbs/spices. We left stuffed, not even room for dessert. However, each main does run about $20-25.

I'll be honest, it's not my cup of tea given some many other fabulous restaurants in town. I prefer more "modern" lighter fare that highlights the main ingredient more. However, I could see some people preferring this style. Nothing wrong with it. If that's what you want, this could be one of the best places to go. The dishes were absolutely tasty, that's for sure. Although I wouldn't call it the greatest deal in town (I could name several that do better with regards to portion/price & quality), you won't be left hungry for sure.
Recommended if you've got a hankering for some ol' fashioned style seafood dishes.

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Pied-a-Terre3369 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Does it get any better than this?
Submitted Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 1:31pm [Dine in]

We were lucky. Popped in for lunch on a day that wasn't packed at all. Maybe only half full (usually this isn't a great sign). It's a tight little restaurant, but done up nicely.

The 3-course lunch was $25, and having time on our hands, we splurged. White bean soup, quail salad for appetizer, duck confit and trout for mains and ice cream, napoleon to finish off. Service from start to finish was absolutely fabulous. She was there when needed, gone when not. Very helpful, cheerful & friendly.
The food ... let's see. For the less finicky, I'll start with this. Saying the portions are generously sized might be an understatement. The quail salad appetizer might have passed as mains at some other places. The theme continued through the mains, right through to the dessert. The trout? My gosh, that might have been twice or thrice other places.
But let's get off the bang-for-the-buck argument now, because the food is really, really, really good. I mean, not too salty, not too sweet (desserts), it wasn't too greasy, every dish had just this perfect combination of various flavours. The cooking technique, spot on. Fish was done to perfection as were the vegetables.

I'm being a bit nitpicky ... I don't rate the duck confit the best in town (perhaps Salade de fruits was better at this), the quail might have been a touch too rare. At twice the price, I would've been satisfied. When you do your own cooking, you tend to know how much ingredients cost and how much effort goes into things. At this price? It's an absolute steal.

What can I say? The food was near perfect, I haven't been this impressed in a long time. The pricing and service are triple icing on the cake. I would definitely recommend you patronize this restaurant. Be absolutely sure to make a reservation, especially for dinner.
Hmm.... maybe I should rate this down a bit so it isn't so crowded....

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Closed
Shanghai Village3250 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Fairly decent, but that's about it
Submitted Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 10:10pm [Dine in]

At least it's not just another one of the usual tea restaurants in the area. It does take a good stab at being different. Inside is pretty decent, but that's probably because it's relatively new. Standard Chinese restaurant decor nowadays. I found the big TV's scattered around the room very distracting, I mean, sometimes people really do not want to be watching a gory action flick during dinner!

We made a reservation, luckily, as it seemed to be quite full for dinner. Service was passable at best. I mean, they aren't unfriendly, they are, sort of. But it usually takes a few tries to get their attention. I dunno if they're short staffed or not, but they need to fix things.

The food? Well, we ordered a variety of dishes, and we got the free XLB with our order since we exceeded the limit. Let me say, the XLB was pretty good. Decent. But no where near the best in town. Difficult to complain when it's free though. The "famous" fish noodles that they had? Apparently won some innovation award too or something. Seriously? It was just okay. I wouldn't order it again, and if you've never had it, I wouldn't say you're missing anything. The rice cake dish we had was again, okay. In fact, most things were just okay.

Nothing really exciting or outstanding about this place, at least not as of the first visit. Quality seems slightly above your usual Chinese restaurant (but that is not saying much). Iffy service, I'm going to barely recommend, but only because it's different from the others in the area.
Would I return? Hmmm... tough call. I wouldn't rule it out, but I've got no urge right now. Is it worth a first visit? Yes, if you happen to be in the area, but it's not worth the trip in my opinion.

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Irish Heather210 Carrall Street, Vancouver
This is pub grub?
Submitted Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 10:01pm [Dine in]

This is not a place we'd normally frequent, but we had a special occasion to attend, so off we went. Dang this place is hard to find, the sign is soooo discrete... and to complicate matters, we were scheduled in the restaurant section, which normally is the Salty Tongue before 6pm, if I'm not mistaken.

I understand people complain about the new location. I guess maybe some people like a grubby run down place, but the new place is awesome. It's perfect for what it should be, I like it. The staff, from the doormen down to the wait staff, for a pub? Seriously impressive service. Made us feel right at home immediately.

The whiskey menu? Boy, was it extensive. I'm no drinker, but there's a lot to choose from, many names that I recognize and even the most expensive ones seem quite affordable. I'd say whiskey fans owe this place a visit. The dinner menu was pretty decent, we started off with the "tongue" (which turned out to be Pemberton beef tongue salad) and then grilled cheese and pot pie. The tongue was a big hit, perfectly flavoured, not too heavy. The grilled cheese was okay, maybe one of the better grilled cheese I've had, but not mind blowing. Both it and the pot pie were a bit heavy, but I suppose perfect accompaniment with a few glasses of Guiness.

Yes, I am giving it 4 stars, as I'm marking it as a pub. It's really eye opening what can be had at gastropubs nowadays. Even as just a "standalone" restaurant, the service and food would be getting top marks.
Highly recommended if you're in the mood for some good hearty fare.

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Santouka Ramen1690 Robson Street, Vancouver
A bit different from the usual, but not amazing
Submitted Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 9:49pm [Dine in]

I guess we got lucky, we were seated almost immediate when we came in for lunch one day. We had always been interested to try the "Hokkaido style" ramen, as they claimed to be. And yes, we do know it's actually a global chain originating from Japan. No complaints about the service, it is on par with other ramen places in town and there's not much to write home about in particular.

The menu features most of the "usual" items, though there is a bit of a twist from the other ramen places in town. I guess that is the Hokkaido style stuff. We had the "spicy" one and the pork cheek shio ramen.
Spicy? By Japanese standards yes, but everyone else's standard, probably not so much, so don't worry, even the faintest of spicy eaters can enjoy this dish.
The pork cheeks slices were very nicely done, big thumbs up. They came on the side of the ramen bowl. The shio ramen was pretty good. Very nice broth, which, by the way, you can watch being boiled in the big pots by the kitchen window. Any ramen worth eating should come with quality broth/soup that is worth drinking. Those people who do not drink the ramen broth, they are wasting money on very good food. This is a high quality soup that takes a long time to make, if you don't drink it, do not consider yourself a foodie. (Unless you find yourself in a really crappy ramen joint).
The noodles are the same in both cases, competent, quite good, but not particularly outstanding. None of that is made in house, it comes bulk packed from Japan.

The portions appear deceptively small, but we were quite full after the meal, so I guess I should complain. The meal was solid, done very nicely, though perhaps a bit rich for my taste. The only gripe I have is the pricing. It's slightly on the high side, about the same level with Motomachi, so the problem is, I very much prefer Motomachi's offerings, much cleaner and lighter tasting and more unique than Santouka. I give it a hesitant thumbs up, worth at least a first visit.

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